Edward Burnham, « Nature Study Lessons XI », Nature Study, Manchester, Manchester Institute of Arts and Science, vol III., 1903, pp. 218-219.
In almost any collection of insects made from brooks and ponds in New England and the Middle States, there is sure to be an assortment of caddis-fly larvae. These industrious creatures are easily kept in any sort of receptacle that will hold water, and if supplied with brook weed, tiny sticks or leaves and stems of water plants, will go on busily and contentedly building, their houses for days and even weeks. For those kinds which live in still pools with muddy bottoms, the water in the aquarium need not be renewed more frequently that once a day, and then only in part. Nymphs of may-flies, of most dragon-flies and many water beetles and water bugs will live Under the same conditions, so that an aquarium for ordinary observation is easily kept, and there ought to be one of some kind in every school roman, at least for a few weeks in the spring.
One of the most common of the caddis-fly larvae builds his house of bits of sticks or grass which he cuts in short pieces with his jaws and lays crosswise, as children in the country used to build cob houses. They are busy builders and work almost constantly, but with very little judgment or common sense. We supplied abundance of material for one of these builders by cutting off bits from the ends of matches. He worked fast, and soon had a much larger house than he needed. Worse still, being made of dry match-wood, he could not make it sink ; and, worst of all, as the dry wood was wholly at one end, the house stood persistently upright, despite his frantic efforts to tip it over. He would lean far over one side and try to swim downward, but his house had become a ship and still floated right side up-or, rather, wrong side up for him. It never occured to him to gnaw off the silken threads with which he had fastened his lumber together, and so let some of it drift away. At night, when we left him, he was wildly brandishing his six legs, but making no use of the sharp jaws which would soon have set him and his house right again. In the morning he lay Dead at the bottom of the aquarium, while his uselees house floared above him.